Hamilton: race will be better than qualifying

Lewis Hamilton has said that he believes his McLaren team’s race pace will be better than its speed in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Yesterday he and team mate Jenson Button could only manage fifth and seventh on the grid respectively, seemingly unable to touch either the Red Bull or Ferrari cars which start in front of the Englishmen.

But Hamilton hopes his overall race pace, coupled with a long seventh gear, could help him this evening at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“Personally, I was very happy with my lap: I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car as hard in my life as I did this afternoon. I was right on the ragged edge and I think I even touched the wall at one stage,” he said.

“But, even so, I managed only P5; that was all I could do. Nonetheless, I’m still hopeful that we’ll bring further improvements to the car soon it’s just a matter of time.

“I hope our race pace will prove to be stronger tomorrow than our qualifying pace was today: we’re losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying. We’ve got a long seventh gear a bit too long for qualifying perhaps but that should be good for overtaking and will be a help when I’m slipstreaming as it means I won’t be on the limiter. That should enable me to challenge the guys in front of me, in fact.

“It’s going to be a tough afternoon tomorrow, but it’s always a long and unpredictable race here and we’re definitely not out of the fight.”